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“If the students are so smart, why does Penn need a center that helps them learn?” As Executive Director of the Weingarten Learning Resources Center, Dr. Myrna Cohen often fields that question. Her answer is always the same: “We have a learning center because they are so smart.”

Named in honor of donor Jeffrey Weingarten, W’70, the Weingarten Learning Resource Center (WLRC) unites the Office of Learning Resources and Student Disabilities Services under the shared mission of supporting students in their learning at Penn.

Unlike typical course content tutoring, The Office of Learning Resources offers free professional and confidential support for students who want to further develop University-relevant skills such as academic writing, reading, studying, goal-setting, and time management. Students work one-on-one with a learning instructor to address specific academic challenges and identify solutions.

Student Disabilities Services ensures that self-identifying students with both physical and learning disabilities have access to the programs, activities, services, or accommodations they may need at Penn. The office helps those with mobility impairments, deaf and blind students, those with chronic medical conditions, injuries, and even psychological disorders. It also runs an annual Disability Symposium, made possible by a gift from Mary Perednia Landy, C’83 and Joseph P. Landy, W’83.

“We have so many success stories, but one of my favorites was a student in an accelerated nursing program who has a reading disability,” says Dr. Susan Shapiro, Jesselson Director of Student Disabilities Services. “She put in the hard work and passed with flying colors.”

Since Mr. Weingarten made his initial gift in 2003, other donors have stepped up to support the Center, which has grown to serve over 2,000 students per year. “Penn Parents Michael and Linda Jesselson cared enough about the work that we do and the support and access we provide to the students to make a significant contribution,” says Dr. Shapiro. “In a challenging environment like Penn, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students of all abilities can benefit from professional instruction on the fundamentals of learning and equal access to the tools available to them.”  

To learn how you can support the Weingarten Center for Learning Resources, please click here or contact Dr. Cohen at 215-573-9235.